// THE CONVERTED TRAIN STATION //
It’s a cold night in Brooklyn. Avaelle Easton, the supposed coven mother, has come down with a cold and is laid up in bed.
The doctor Lenard Trelaine has temporarily shirked his duties and has devoted himself to overseeing the day-to-day dispatching of the vampires under their control.
Vanessa Tang, newly devoted to Trente Gagarin, has been dealing with her new lifestyle, albeit begrudgingly.
The truth was that she’d enjoyed creating the husks. Her favorite part had been revealing the bones and musculature of the face.
Yes, she’d enjoyed the ‘to the last drop’ mantra she’d adopted. But her lasting satisfaction, though now just a fond memory, had come from the faces of her victims fully drained of fluid.
“I did that.”
“I did that.”
The rosy hue of their cheeks faded, their lips thin and revealing, often unable anymore to hide their teeth.
And their teeth, she laughed. Flat, useless. Coarse chunks of enameled dentin to assist their endless quest to swallow dirt and sludge. Such pride, they saw themselves with. But freed from the cycle, it so became apparent that their Compulsion was even more endemic than that of the Vampire.
Their gums, too, receded after she’d drained them, and their faces looked more horse than man.
Vanessa is lost in her thoughts, reclining on a couch, when the Elder approaches her.
VANESSA, WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF ALVARO HALCOM?
She scoffs dramatically, an old habit of hers.
MORE THAN I WANT TO KNOW.
THAT ASSHOLE SURE LOVES TO TALK.
HE THINKS I’M BEAUTIFUL AND ALL THAT.
NEVER DOES HE TALK TO ME LIKE I’M ANYTHING BUT A PIECE OF MEAT.
HE’S PARTIAL TO OLD WAYS OF THINKING.
I’M SORRY IT BOTHERS YOU.
IT DOESN’T “BOTHER” ME, I JUST FEEL PITY FOR THE OLD FOOL.
HE HAS TO KNOW NOTHING WILL COME OF HIS COME-ONS.
OF COURSE HE DOES, BUT HE’S OF A GENERATION THAT BELIEVES HE’S… WELL –
GIVING YOU YOUR DUE.
HE DOESN’T INTEND TO DEMEAN YOU.
HE’S OLD AND I’M NOT.
NONE OF THAT SHOULD MATTER ANYMORE.
IT DOESN’T DISAPPEAR OVERNIGHT.
YOUR IMPENDING DEATH HAS.
WHAT ABOUT HIM?
AVAELLE SAID HE HASN’T REPORTED IN FOR A WEEK.
She snuggly crosses her arms.
YOU KNOW IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE.
AVAELLE TOLD THEM TO STEER CLEAR OF QUEENS.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO THINK THAT’S NOT TRUE?
WHAT, THAT HE STRAYED TOO CLOSE TO THE FIRE?
I WASN’T KEEPING TOO CLOSE OF TABS ON HIM, LIKE I SAID.
I THINK HE HAD SOME RACKET WITH IN-HOME MUSIC LESSONS OR SOME SHIT.
HE DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT GOING TO QUEENS.
NOT THAT I RECALL BUT ONCE HE STARTS TALKING, I TEND TO JUST TUNE HIM OUT.
Lenard replies, but quieter, as if to himself.
THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT US BUT IF THEY DID, I COULD SEE THEM RETALIATING.
Vanessa speaks more loudly, irritated at his inward discussion.
WE’VE GOT PLENTY TO FILL HIS SPOT AT THE TABLE.
AND ONES THAT AREN’T PERVERTS.
YOU ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE OF RESISTING HIS ADVANCES.
IF THEY EVEN MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SUCH.
TELL ME WHY IT OFFENDS YOU SO MUCH.
IT’S MY SPACE HE’S INVADING WITH PATRIARCHAL GARBAGE!
ALL BECAUSE HE CAN’T KEEP HIS THOUGHTS TO HIMSELF.
IT’S MY RESPONSIBILITY TO IGNORE HIM, BUT NOT HIS TO SHUT THE FUCK UP?
IT’S CLEAR WOMEN ARE JUST PETS TO HIM, THE WAY HE SPEAKS TO ME.
“PETS”, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT.
THEN WHAT TERM WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY.
BUT I’M THINKING OF THAT EXPRESSION, ‘TO PUT ON A PEDESTAL’.
IT COULD BE GOOD OR BAD.
OR HE JUST WANTS TO LOOK UP OUR SKIRTS.